Liquid Ecstasy Law Just Step Toward Stopping Rape

Liquid Ecstasy Law Just Step Toward Stopping Rape
Posted by FoM on February 04, 2000 at 09:47:17 PT
Staff Editorial, Arizona Daily Wildcat U. Arizona
Source: U-WIRE
The war on drugs has a new enemy - date rape. Drugs like heroin, cocaine and marijuana have a new neighbor in the federal government's list of most dangerous substances. GHB, casually referred to as "liquid ecstasy" or the "date rape drug," is close to joining the category of Schedule One drugs - substances that are most dangerous and have no medical use. 
The legislation, which was approved by U.S. Congress Monday and will likely be signed by President Clinton, would make the production, possession or spread of GHB punishable by up to 20 years in prison. It also gives the Drug Enforcement Administration the right to federally prosecute crimes involving the drug. This is certainly a bold and important move in coming down hard on date rape, as the drug is common on college campuses and often linked to acquaintance rape in which a victim would unknowingly consume the "party drug." The drug is particularly dangerous because it easily causes overdoses - 5,700 thus far, according to the DEA. While the legislation has potential to open college students' eyes to the dangers of the drug, the battle against marijuana seems to be an indicator that federal drug laws can only do so much. Tougher DEA regulations can only stop drug use so much, and the war on rape is still left largely unarmed. In the past 10 years, GHB has been adopted by fast party culture - a pill-popping atmosphere. It is used not only to aid rape, but as a recreational drug. The drug is easier to make than rohypnol is to buy. It is colorless, odorless and effective in tiny doses. Most disturbing from the sexual assault victim's perspective is the fact that GHB leaves the system within 24 hours. When the morning after a wild party brings a horrifying revelation, the only hard evidence of date rape is soon flushed out of the invaded body. Hopefully, tougher drug laws will reduce the casual perception of liquid ecstasy. Hopefully, the spread of the drug will be limited and thus reduce the frequency of date rape. But even in the unlikely event that GHB is eliminated from college campuses, the targeted crime will perpetuate. In August, the University of Arizona Police Department had recorded only one case of sexual assault for the 1999 calendar year. UA's rape crisis center, Oasis, listed 60 reports in only six months of that year. As many as 60 cases of rape or sexual assault were unpunished and unpublicized. While some unreported incidents could have involved drugs, a large majority likely resulted from alcohol use and a sick human being. GHB is, without a doubt, going to the right place as a Schedule One drug, moreso than some of its companion substances. But the only way we can make real progress in stopping party or acquaintance rapists and the irreparable damage they do is to end the stigma associated with being sexually assaulted. If people continue to look away and not report rape, all the drug laws in the world won't help this weekend's victims.(U-WIRE) Tuscon, Ariz.Published: February 3, 2000(C) 2000 Arizona Daily Wildcat via U-WIRE Related Article:Drug Legislation Alone Won't Stop Date Rape - 2/04/2000
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Comment #1 posted by Doc-Hawk on February 04, 2000 at 19:10:37 PT:
What about the most used Date-Rape drug?
What about the most used Date-Rape drug? I am referring of course to that government sanctioned, liver destoying, deadly in large amounts (or small amounts in combination with certain other legal and illegal substances) panacea known as ethyl alcohol.Why else would one be able to find cartoons with captions like: Beer: Helping ugly people get laid since 1866 or Southern Comfort - Liquid Panty Remover?Sure, the prevention of Date-Rape is an entirely laudable goal. Unfortunately, making a substance illegal only exacerbates problems. With the market driven further underground, this illicit drug will now be in the hands of more people, as the profits of the distributors increase, and law-enforcement tries feebly to stanch the flow.Besides, persons who would use GHB for Date-Rape are the problem, not the GHB. In small doses, GHB is no more harmful than many other drugs, licit and illicit. But given a good dose of hysteria and hype, GHB get headlines...and new enthusiasts. But hysteria it is! If GBH were to go away today, that would not solve any problem. (You could substitute many illicit drugs in the previous sentence and it would still be true!) Any drug which can cause heightened sensation or the opposite (loss of sensation)could be used to facilitate Date-Rape. The number one drug in this group is alcohol.This is just another poorly conceived law that is unenforcable in general, and will do nothing to prevent Date-Rape.One of the main "damning" statistics that the DEA used to argue GHB's evilness was that from 1990 - 1998(?) there had been 58 reported deaths from GHB. Even taken at face value (would the law enforcement types ever lie -- naw), this number less than the deaths from Viagra each year. But now it will be illegal. Just another lever to be used against the Constitution and the people of this country.Peace on drugs is the only way that makes room for education instead of incarceration, and leaves the freedoms of this country intact.Personally, I think 20 years is light for someone who is a rapist. There are far more effective penalties that might serve as a deterent to not just the rapist but any potential rapist, but they might be deemed "cruel and unusal." It's not the drug, it's the person.As Frank Zappa once said: A drug is not bad. A drug is a chemical compound. The problem comes in when people who take drugs treat them like a licence to behave like an asshole.Follow the link below to a typical propaganda page where ecstasy (MDMA) and liquid ecstasy (GHB) are conflated into a terrible thing. (other than the fact that the two are related only by name - not chemically or by effect) Such bull speaks volumes about the fear-mongers who would lie to their own mothers to achieve their goals.
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